This Story has been very well documented. In 2016, Trevor Story came onto the scene with a bat in hand, ready to take on the Major Leagues. He took the league by storm, hitting .272/.341/.567 with 27 home runs and 8 stolen bases before having his season cut short at 97 games due to a thumb injury. Despite his short season, he finished fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.
In 2017, Trevor’s bat went quiet, but his glove came alive, as he compiled 11 Defensive Runs Saved in 145 games and put to rest any skepticism that he can stick at shortstop. This was an improvement from 2016 and an answer to a common question. During that time, he also only recorded a line of .239/.308/.457 with 24 home runs and 7 stolen bases. He also led the NL with 191 strikeouts, which was a rate of 34% according to Baseball Reference. In 2016, his strikeout rate was 31%.
At the beginning of this season, I wrote that Story needed to find a way to combine the good elements of both of his first two seasons in order to justify his spot as the team’s long-term shortstop, especially with Brendan Rodgers knocking at the door. He seems to have risen to those expectations and is exceeding them on a nightly basis. Here is an update on the state of Trevor Story and the shortstop position.
★ ★ ★
So far in 2018, Story is writing his best season yet. Offensively, his numbers are superior to anything he’s put up before. He is currently slashing .291/.347/.538 with 26 home runs, 85 RBI, and 21 stolen bases. It’s also worth noting that he has one extra home run, which came during his first at bat at the All-Star game. His strikeout rate has also dropped to about 25% — his lowest since being promoted to the majors.
Defensively, he has maintained his advances from 2017 and is giving Nolan Arenado some competition for the Rockies’ human highlight reel on the left side of the infield:
: Hello. What is your emergency?— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) July 26, 2018
: We just witnessed a robbery. pic.twitter.com/13TTXhoDzG
Story should be in the conversation for a Gold Glove at shortstop. The last Rockies shortstop to win that award was Troy Tulowitzki in 2011.
On Monday, Story also joined Tulowitzki as a Rockies shortstop to join the in the 20/20 club — 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases on the season. He is the seventh shortstop to achieve that at age 25 or younger, according to the team, and it’s a most welcome offensive contribution from shortstop.
★ ★ ★
Now, that’s not to say that there still isn’t still a little bit of competition at the shortstop position. Story’s closest competition comes in the form of Brendan Rodgers, who was promoted from the Hartford Yard Goats to the Albuquerque Isotopes on July 31st and has bounced between second base, shortstop, and third base. The Rockies top prospect has struggled in Triple-A — hitting just .220/.258/.271 in 16 games with the Isotopes — but he has a top prospect pedigree and is learning to adjust to new competition. He was also injured for a time earlier in the season.
Rodgers is not far off from the majors and may be part of Arizona Fall League where he can continue to improve those skills for a possible roster spot next year. With the possible departure of DJ LeMahieu after this season is over, Rodgers could also slide over to second base.
★ ★ ★
Rodgers and what will happen next season is a little bit beside the point. It’s not like he’s going to supplant Story in 2018. The Rodgers conversation will most likely continue into the offseason when LeMahieu’s future with the Rockies becomes more of a focal point than it is right now. Right now, it’s important to focus on the Rockies current postseason push with or without Rodgers.
The point here is that at the heart of everything: Trevor is having a storied season on both sides of the ball and is continuing to get better. The big bat finally met up with the great glove and stellar speed to put up some impressive numbers and nightly highlights. He really seems to have solidified himself as the Rockies long-term solution at shortstop post-Tulowitzki. All Rockies fans can hope for is that this kind of production continues into next season and beyond.